Blessed to be a blessing to others

Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1500 North Blissfield Hwy. Palmyra, MI 49268

(517) 486-3151

IMMANUEL'S JOURNEY

IMMANUEL'S JOURNEY

IMMANUEL'S JOURNEY IMMANUEL'S JOURNEY

DAILY MESSAGES

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

  

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Hello, Greetings from Immanuel on this fine day.

 

Shattering Hope
 

Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels.
John 12:24
 

Today’s Bible Reading: John 12:23–26

Poppy seeds pop. Apple cores crash to the ground. Corn kernels crack. In nature, the very act of reproduction requires a seed to shed its hull and shatter its container. In her classic book, The Measure of My Days, playwright and author Florida Scott-Maxwell observes, “Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It’s meant to, and it couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition.”
 

The playwright’s observation reminds me of Jesus’ words as He approached His death in John 12. Sharing that the hour had come “for the Son of Man to enter into his glory” (v. 23), Jesus offered a kind of shattering hope to his listeners. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels” (v. 24). His death would bring about life for many. Jesus erases any doubt by prefacing His point with the phrase, “I tell you the truth.”
 

God offers this shattering hope to us today, nudging us toward growth. Jesus goes on, “Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity” (v. 25).
 

Elisa Morgan

 


We all face sufferings, disappointments and losses. How might God bring about new life in us through the daily “deaths” we encounter?

 


Dear Lord, may I embrace the shattering hope You offer in my days, that I might see You reproduce more of You and Your desires in my life.


              

                 

DAY 18

Shattering Hope

Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its               death will produce many new kernels.
John 12:24


Today’s Bible Reading: John 12:23–26

Poppy seeds pop.  Apple cores crash to the ground. Corn kernels crack. In nature,               the very act of reproduction requires a seed to shed its hull and shatter its container. In her classic book, The Measure of My Days, playwright and author Florida Scott-Maxwell observes, “Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It’s meant to, and it couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition.”


The playwright’s observation reminds me of Jesus’ words as He approached His death in John 12. Sharing that the hour had come “for the Son of Man to               enter into his glory” (v. 23), Jesus offered a kind of shattering hope to his listeners. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of  wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels” (v. 24). His death would bring about life for many. Jesus erases any doubt by prefacing His point with the phrase, “I tell you the truth.”


God offers this shattering hope to us today, nudging us toward growth. Jesus goes               on, “Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity” (v. 25).


Elisa Morgan


We all face sufferings, disappointments and losses. How might God bring               about new life in us through the daily “deaths” we encounter?


Dear Lord, may I embrace the shattering hope You offer in my days, that I might see You reproduce more of You and Your desires in my life.



Important dates for 2020

Please continue to read the following information

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Rev. Dr. Donald P. Kreiss, Bishop    SEMI Synod Website

       

E-news from the office of the Bishop

      

SYNOD House Office Hours:

As           congregations have been instructed to stay away from group           gatherings, the Synod staff is also figuring out how to work safely.           Please call 313.821.1055 to leave voice messages for staff - which           are also emailed to us, or send emails directly by clicking on the           names below. Our prayers continue with you.

Bishop Don Kreiss, Rev. Sean Ewbank, Ms. Beth Fisher,

Rev.           Lauren Kirsh-Carr, Ms. Robin McCants

“I hereby command you: Be           Strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord           your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

              


      

Bishop Kreiss' 2nd Letter to SEMI Synod

This is           the second           of this series of regular communications from the Bishop’s Office           during this time of pandemic. Again, please look for regular updates           through Constant Contact, the Southeast Michigan Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/Semisynod/) as well as our webpage (https://semisynod.com).

              


🎉 ONLINE SMALL GROUPS 🎉

“As the           Parent has loved me, so I love you. Abide in my love.” | John 15:9

During this           time of crisis we are learning to abide in new ways. Join with young           adults (18-35) all around the country once a week for small group           fellowship, conversation, and prayer. Registration for Abide is now           open! Look out for details on all our social media channels.

1. If you're           18-35 register           on the Google form!

2. Group           assignments and further details will be sent out Friday, Mar 27.

3. Group           meetings will start the week of Monday, March 30!

If you have           questions, please email ELCAYAsmallgroups@gmail.com.

The peace           and blessing of God remain with you.

Savanna           Sullivan, Program Director, ELCA Young Adult Ministries

              


      

ATTENTION Zoom Users - how to avoid "Zoom           Bombing" on your Zoom Calls

Using Zoom           is THE hot tool for congregations, friends and families to stay           connected during this time of self-isolation. Unfortunately, there           are still scammers and "trolls" out to jeopardize our           engagement. This           link provides more information to help you keep uninvited           guests from your meetings.

"The host does not need to grant screen share access           for another participant to share their screen.” However, hosts           can disable this option in their settings or the Admin controls of           a call. You can either change this in your pre-meeting Settings or in the in-call admin           settings for Share Screen -> Advanced Sharing Settings.

              


ELCA Administration Matters Team

The ELCA           has been receiving           questions about the impact of the Families First Coronavirus Response           Act on congregations and other ministries. Our full communion           partner, the United Church of Christ, has put together the attached           memorandum and has generously allowed us to share it. We           hope you find it helpful. If you have further questions, you           should contact an accounting, tax, and/or legal professional.

              


      

Being Church in the Time of COVID-19           on April 1

FREE Virtual Offerings Hosted by           ELCA Coaching Ministry

Greetings,           ELCA Leaders. We pray you are each well and finding the solid ground           of Christ in this time of fear and confusion.

Last week,           ELCA Coaching Network hosted an opportunity for faith leaders across           the country to gather online. It was well-received, and over the           course of the 3 days, approximately 300 leaders were hosted in this           virtual space!

(Note: we           intend to post recordings of the presentations and follow-up           documents on our website: elcacoaching.org)

The next           virtual conference is Sharing Our Grief and Our Hope with           Those We Serve, Wednesday, April 1. Click           here for           details and sign up information. And a helpful tool for Zoom users is           this Zoom           Hospitality document.

              


      

ELCA Social Statements - what is our policy?

The ELCA           social statement, Caring for Health: Our           Shared Endeavor, notes “threats to health do not respect national           boundaries". The document "expresses ELCA teaching on health and the health care           system. Its vision of health as a shared endeavor rests in a biblical           view that wholeness is a blessing God intends for all people ...           (which) is integral to the life and mission of the Church. Read more by clicking the link           above.

              


How you can help!

Pastor Beth Birkholz (313) 400-3011 has offered           opportunities to help while keeping you occupied at the same time.

· Put together COVID-19 Care Kits for the most vulnerable           populations Samaritas serves. Click here for a flyer that lists all           the details you need.

· Got Bored Kids? This flyer lists things your kids           can do to help brighten someone's day.

· Click here to read more about Samaritas'           practices during this pandemic.

Prayer petition: God of the ages, we pray for all those who are           vulnerable in our Samaritas facilities in this time. We ask that you           would call us to be the church outside our walls, and that you would           show us how to help each other. Amen.

              


Michigan.Gov / Coronavirus

To combat the           spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Whitmer signed the “Stay           Home, Stay Safe” executive order. For at least the next three weeks, all Michigan           businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person           operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, and all           Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that           critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or           performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or           their family ... for up-to-date information, visit MI.Gov           online.

              


ELCA Living Water Summer Camp "Hope &           Confidence"

Despite the           uncertainty in the world, Living Water Ministries is embracing the           hope that the summer months will be filled with the sounds of campers           growing in faith, learning to serve, practicing leadership, and           forming community with one another. We also believe that once we           are on the other side of this period of social distancing, the need           to come together in community will be amplified. Right now,           there are a lot of factors that threaten summer operations for camps           

              


U.S. Census Forms are arriving

The 2020           Census is underway and is ready for America to respond.           The first invitations should have arrived in the mail to an estimated           140 million household. Share this message and ask others to discuss           the importance of this process, especially with those who are not           normally counted: homeless, students, youth, etc. Plan to include           everyone you expect to live in your home on April 1. You can respond           online in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many           more. The ELCA offers this helpful CENSUS 101: WHAT YOU NEED           TO KNOW poster to share as well.

              


Severe Blood Shortage Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

Please           schedule an appointment to donate blood.

visit https://www.redcross.org/ for more information.

              

      

Matrix Human Services needs your support

We are desperately seeking help obtaining           any of the items listed -- please drop off your donations at our           Matrix Human Services Administration Office located           at 1400 Woodbridge, Detroit, MI 48207

Tuesday, March 31st and           Wednesday, April 1st

Between 10:00 a.m. to 2.p.m.

Requested items are: soaps,           toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, wipes,           disinfecting spray, cleaning supplies, paper towel, tissue, and other           essentials. Families also need diapers, art supplies, outdoor play           items like chalk and bubbles, cereal, thermometers, nebulizers, and           more. Click           here for           more information.

            

      

      

Prayers of the Synod

               

Prayers of Grace & Support

Beth (Mark) Fisher mourns the death of her               father Harry               Steusloff.

Those who find themselves in isolation. Those who               have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Those who are suddenly               unemployed due to work stoppage. Those who are considered at-risk               and unable to be in the company of loved ones. Those in our               prison systems.

Deployed military and the families left behind. Our               nation's government and leaders and lawmakers. Immigrant children               and their families. Grocery store employees, first responders,               police, fire and medical personnel. All who advocate for               water equality and other social injustices.

Prayers of Health & Healing

Prayers               for those who are ill and those in need: Beth & Mark Fisher,               Pr. Scott McKinney, Pr. Sharon Janot and continued prayers for:               LLM Enoch Carlton; Pr Carey Mack; Pr Christine Thompson and Pr.               Joyce Johnston (homebound), as well as Tamara Howes (sister of               Pr. Sean Ewbank); Pr Lauren Kirsh-Carr's sister and mother, Pr. Bill & Sally Moldwin, LLM Mike &               Pr. Mary Duerkson, Pr David Boone, Pr Maxcy Christmas, Pr Paul               Gateman, Elaine (Pr Roger) Schleef and Pr Don Thomas.

Daily Bible Reading from ELCA

 

Daily Bible Reading

Ezekiel 36:8-15

8But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot out your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they shall soon come home. 9See now, I am for you; I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown; 10and I will multiply your population, the whole house of Israel, all of it; the towns shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt; 11and I will multiply human beings and animals upon you. They shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. 12I will lead people upon you — my people Israel — and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance. No longer shall you bereave them of children.

13Thus says the Lord GOD: Because they say to you, "You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children," 14therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, says the Lord GOD; 15and no longer will I let you hear the insults of the nations, no longer shall you bear the disgrace of the peoples; and no longer shall you cause your nation to stumble, says the Lord GOD.

News from the Council at ILC

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In an effort to keep all our church members informed, we are posting emails and Facebook notices.  However, not everyone is connected to the internet.  Information packets will be mailed to those members of our congregation so they can stay connected and aware of what is happening with our Immanuel family.  If you know of anyone who needs these packets, please notify the church office or Pat Keinath, 447-3096.  The first of these packets will be mailed this week.  Please check with your family member of friend to see if they got a packet.  We don't want to miss anyone.  Also should you know of anyone or if you need delivery of food items contact Pastor Leking, 517-673-0370.

If you have not gotten your Easter candy order form to the church or to Danielle, bring them to the church this Sunday, March 29.  Pat Keinath and Danielle will be here at 11 AM to collect orders and payment.


If all goes well, Pastor should be telecasting live on D&P Communications channel 21 at 9 am this Sunday.  He's working with D & P and waiting for orders to arrive so that this telecast can take place. Tune in and check it out.

Even though the church building is not being used at this time, don't forget to send your offering envelops in.  We, the people, are the church, but the building still needs to be maintained.


Blessed to be a blessing,

Immanuel Lutheran Church Council                         

PK

CC

From Christian Counseling Center, St. Paul Lutheran, Blissfi

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Just Breathe. It truly is that simple. I often tell clients that no matter what life throws at them they truly only have one requirement to get through it, and that is to breathe. Now try convincing someone who has a family member with the virus and the uncertainty of their fate to just breathe, or someone who lives alone and hasn’t left their home in 10 days to just breathe, or someone still working around the infected risking themselves to just breathe, or someone who is now unemployed without any saving to fall back on to just breathe, or the parent trying to work from home and occupy and comfort their children to just breathe, and lastly someone who knows they have been exposed and are terrified that this virus could potentially take away their ability to breathe, just breathe………I have been a counselor for 10 years and I have never navigated in such uncharted waters.

I want to address some of the things I am concerned about as a clinician during this Pandemic. And offer a few ways to cope.

Please pay attention to your mental and emotional health as well as your physical! It is a natural human condition to experience depression and anxiety when we are not in control. Pay attention to your emotions and mental state. It is normal for them to fluctuate in these uncertain times but we have control over how we respond! Even if you feel you do not have control over anything, you do have control of yourself. Do not react to your emotional state rather pause and respond rationally. 

Check your Emotions: Are you responding to current situations? Or are you responding out of stress or fear of what is going on in the world? Just this, Just now. 

Anxiety is state of inner turmoil. An uneasy feeling of uncertainty, worry, dread or agony. It is often accompanied by nervous feelings or behaviors. Anxiety is a future oriented state of being where the focus is on the unknown.

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activities. Often accompanied with lack of interest, loss of hope, sadness, loneliness(even around others), isolation, and avoidance of otherwise enjoyed activities. In extreme cases thoughts of self- harm or suicide may exist.

Watch your body for cues you are experiencing anxiety or depression: Rapid heart rate, over heating or sweating, lack of focus, forgetfulness, nausea, change in appetite, headaches, muscle tension, restlessness, fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleeping, irritability and uncontrollable crying. These are all physical symptoms of Anxiety or Depression which are very common during times like this. When you notice these symptoms stop, acknowledge it, pray about it and then do something to care for yourself. 

So What can you do? 

Self Care: Pray! STAY CONNECTED WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS (still following the CDC recommendations of course) We are each other’s greatest resource at a time like this. Pray! Exercise if possible, Stay active. Even if its walking in place in your living room, in your own yard or street. Eat well. Avoid caffeine if you are anxious. Everyone can benefit from drinking more water! Pray! Be aware of the material you read and shows you watch, it can impact anxiety and depression greatly. Deep Breathe: Slow deep inhales through your nose and slowly blowing out through pursed lips. Relax your tongue. Often when we are stressed we clench our teeth and jaws. Pay attention is your tongue pressed behind your teeth or on the roof of your mouth? Relax it and try to focus on keeping your tongue resting it will decrease facial tension immediately. 

Please watch your use of alcohol and other substances. During this stressful time it is common for people to escape or cope with substances. Please be careful. As this is the most unhealthy way to get through these times. Although it may offer relief for a few minutes or hours, the long term effects may not be worth the brief benefit you believe you are getting.

Lastly PLEASE limit your exposure to News and Social Media! I find the clients that are struggling the most right now are the causing some of their problems by overconsuming information. Yes knowledge is power and it would be negligent not to stay informed. I recommend NO MORE than 1 hour of COVID-19 related information a day. Ideally 10 minutes, 3x’s a day. Morning, afternoon and evening if you must. WE BECOME WHAT WE CONSUME. 

Remember this is a time for us to show who we are as individuals and a community. Take care of Others and yourselves. We are all in this together.  If you need to talk to a professional Help is available! All mental health professionals are offering help Via Video or phone during this pandemic. Do not hesitate to reach out, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! www.chtistiancareconnection.com (517) 486-4005

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An e-mail from Pastor Leking

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Monday, March 23, 2020

  

If you ever think you don’t matter, think again. What each of us does at this time affects someone else, as well as ourselves. It affects our future. Unless it is of an essential nature, doctors are imploring us to remain at home and social distance. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care for others. It’s quite the opposite. We need to make wise and healthy decisions. It is with this spirit that I would like to share the following:

. Since we won’t be having any activities at the church buildings, Immanuel and St. Paul won’t be sending out an April newsletter.

. Instead of taking time to read a newsletter, take the time to pray for others. Pray for the front line medical workers. Pray for first responders. Pray for the vulnerable. Pray for your family. Knowing that others are praying for us and that we are praying for them keeps us connected.

. If you know of someone who has a dire need, such as food. Please let me know. 

. Gloria Morrison from Christian Care Connection Counseling and I have been in conversation about the mental, emotional and spiritual strain this crisis has had upon people. She will be sharing coping resources with me and I will share them with you by the end of the week.

. If you have any personal protective masks from work or from projects around home, please let me know. I can find a use for them in the medical community.

. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. My contact info is: Pastor Gary Leking 517-673-0370 or lekingfarms@aol.com

. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 .

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW

DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS, ALL SERVICES AND GROUP EVENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED THRU PALM SUNDAY, 


APRIL 5, 2020 as of this date.  This may be changed.

LIVE IN THE WORD BIBLE STUDY GROUP

1 pm - 2-ish pm

Gathering Area at Immanuel

Event Details

LIVE IN THE WORD BIBLE STUDY GROUP

On Monday afternoon for an hour to an hour and a half, people gather to pray, read liturgy, discuss books, share religious viewpoints, and e...

Event Details

1 pm - 2-ish pm

Gathering Area at Immanuel

Traditional Worship Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Immanuel Nave

Event Details

Traditional Worship Service

All are welcome to attend worship at Immanuel.  

Worship with hymns, liturgy, communion, and blessings take place at 10:00 AM with coffee hou...

Event Details

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Immanuel Nave

Contemporary Worship Service

11:30 am - 12:30 pm Immanuel Nave

Event Details

Contemporary Worship Service

All are welcome to attend worship at Immanuel.  Through songs lead by the Praise Band, prayers, liturgy, communion all taking place in a rel...

Event Details

11:30 am - 12:30 pm Immanuel Nave

Lent ALL LENTEN SERVICES AND BREAKFASTS HAVE BEEN SUSPEND

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Community Lenten and World Day of Prayer Breakfasts

Throughout Lent and the Friday World Day of Prayer, Community Breakfasts are 

being offered by area churches.  Below is the schedule.

9:30 AM Thursday, Feb. 27--Lenten Community Breakfast

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Blissfield, will host Lenten Breakfast 

9:30 AM Friday, March 6--World Day of Prayer Breakfast

Light of Christ Church, Blissfield, will host Community World Day 

of Prayer Breakfast

9:30 AM Thursday, March 12-- Lenten Community Breakfast

First Presbyterian Church, Blissfield, will host Lenten Breakfast

9:30 AM Thursday, March 19--Lenten Community Breakfast

First United Methodist Church, Blissfield, will host Lenten Breakfast

9:30 AM Thursday, March 26--Lenten Community Breakfast

Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Blissfield, will host Lenten Breakfast